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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[WA] Ex-State Trooper Ronda Reynolds' Updates

Ronda Reynolds
Former Washington State Trooper
September 16, 1965 ~ December 16, 1998

...The county coroner said Reynolds' husband and his sons have indicated they'll refuse to testify. "They'll take the Fifth Amendment... It means, 'I refuse to testify on the grounds it may tend to incriminate me"...




Previous posts:
TROOPER'S HUSBAND AND HIS SONS TO PLEAD THE FIFTH AT INQUEST
komonews.com
By Luke Duecy
Published: Sep 16, 2011
Last Updated: Sep 17, 2011
[Excerpts] The long-awaited inquest into the 1998 shooting death of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds will soon get under way, but it may not bring closure to her mother. Reynolds' husband and his three sons are trying to avoid testifying in the controversial case... People still wonder how her body ended up on the floor of a closet in the master bedroom in Reynolds' home with a gunshot wound to her head. On Friday, Lewis County Coroner Warren McCleod formally announced he'll hold an inquest to figure out, once and for all, whether Reynolds' death was suicide or murder. "What I hope to accomplish is a final resolution in this 13-year-old case," he said. "The jury is going to say, 'This who it was, where it happened, when it happened, how it happened and this is what we believe is the manner of the death."' In 1998, the county's then-coroner ruled Reynolds' death a suicide. In 2008, a KOMO News investigation uncovered new evidence and expert opinions that called that ruling into question. Reynolds' mother Barb Thompson sued to clear her daughter's name, and a jury unanimously found Reynolds did not kill herself. Thompson hoped the inquest might finally bring closure; however, on Friday, she found out it might not. The county coroner said Reynolds' husband and his sons have indicated they'll refuse to testify. "They'll take the Fifth Amendment," Thompson said. "It means, 'I refuse to testify on the grounds it may tend to incriminate me."'... [Full article here]

48 HOURS: Mystery on Twin Peaks Drive - The Murder of Ronda Reynolds

'I WANTED THE TRUTH, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THAT WAS'
KOMO
By Tracy Vedder
Published: Oct 20, 2011
For the first time since her daughter's death 13 years ago, Barb Thompson is a woman with peace in her soul. An inquest jury on Wednesday ruled her daughter Ronda Reynolds' manner of death was homicide and not suicide as initially determined. The jury ruled Reynold's husband, Ron Reynolds, and stepson, Jonathan Reynolds, are responsible for her death. The coroner said he would issue arrest warrants for the two men, and a charging decision is expected Friday. Much of the evidence that convinced the coroner's jury was the result of nearly 13 years of persistent digging by Thompson. "No regrets," she said. For years, Thompson has said she has been searching for just one thing: "I wanted the truth, regardless of what that was"... [Full article here]

Barbara when Ronda's death was ruled a homicide

JURY: REYNOLDS' HUSBAND, STEPSON RESPONSIBLE FOR HER DEATH
By KOMO Staff
Oct 19, 2011
[Excerpts] The jury in the inquest into the death of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds has reached a verdict... "This is overwhelming," Ronda Reynolds' mother Barb Thompson said amid tears after the verdict was read. "I always said I had faith in our judicial system, and they didn't prove me wrong again." As a result of the decision, Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod was planning to issue an arrest warrant in the case. But the unprecedented nature of the verdict left a key question lingering: Will the men even be criminally charged? The verdict drew gasps in a small Chehalis courtroom... Reynolds' death was originally ruled a suicide, but the Lewis County coroner launched a new investigation following a KOMO News investigation... Ron Reynolds and Jonathan Reynolds both refused to testify during the inquest, as did Ron Reynolds' two other sons. [Full article here]


What Barbara said she would say to Ronda, "I hope you're proud of me. We did it." Barbara also gives the credit to the media for lifting the case into the public view. 

ARREST WARRANTS IN TROOPER'S DEATH SUSPENDED OVER 'LEGAL ISSUE'
By KOMO
Oct 21, 2011
[Excerpts] An unexpected legal issue has disrupted the issuing of arrest warrants after a coroner's inquest jury ruled this week that the 1998 death of former state trooper Ronda Reynolds was a homicide. And in another surprise twist, Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said in a statement Friday that the inquest into Reynolds' death will be reopened... that he has "temporarily suspended the process regarding the arrest warrants required by the verdict in the coroner inquest into the death of Ronda Reynolds... This temporary suspension is to allow for the investigation and resolution of a legal issue that has come to light," McLeod said in his statement. "No further details can be provided at this time but a complete public disclosure will be made when the coroner inquest is reconvened"... [Full article here]

Ronda's mom Barb Thompson outside the house at 114 Twin Peaks Drive where here daughter died.

RONDA REYNOLDS’ HUSBAND, SON TO SPEAK ABOUT 1998 TOLEDO DEATH ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
Lewis County Sirens
By Sharyn  L. Decker
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:01 am
[Excerpts] The first journalist to conduct a one on one interview with Toledo Elementary School Principal Ron Reynolds about the controversial 1998 death of his wife in Toledo says he was left thinking it was a mistake Reynolds chose to remain mum during last October’s coroner’s inquest. Reynolds and his son Jonathan answered every question and told a very convincing story about what they say was the suicide of former trooper Ronda Reynolds, Peter Van Sant said yesterday... Van Sant spoke yesterday from his office in New York, in advance of this weekend’s airing of 48 Hours Mystery, featuring the Lewis County case that is now ruled a homicide. Ronda Reynolds, 33, died with a bullet in her head in the home she shared with husband of less than a year, Ron Reynolds and his sons. She was found dead on the floor of a small walk-in closet, covered up by a turned-on electric blanket the morning of Dec. 16, 1998. Her death was labeled by then-Coroner Terry Wilson and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office as a suicide, but her unconvinced mother Barbara Thompson battled for more than a decade for a more thorough investigation of what she believed was more likely murder... Ron Reynolds, on the advice of attorneys, avoided testifying not only at the inquest, but at the 2009 judicial review in Chehalis... “I thought it was interesting at the end of the day, Barb Thompson was not upset that these men were not prosecuted,” he said... Among their interviewees is Ann Rule, author from Seattle who published a book on the case... [Full article here]

RONDA REYNOLDS
(From realcrimes.com)
By Barbara Thompson
My daughter, Ronda Reynolds, 33, was discovered dead of a gunshot wound to her head, in Toledo, Washington, on December 16, 1998. She died on the floor of her master bedroom walk-in closet, following a heated argument with her husband. The scene was contaminated by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department before the lead detective, Jerry Berry, ever got there. Several months later, as Detective Berry was in the process of pursuing answers to a long list of inconsistencies, Ronda’s husband hired an attorney, who threatened to sue the sheriff’s office for not following proper procedures. Sheriff John McCroskey responded by closing the case as a suicide one week later, using as justification a falsified report by his detective, Sgt. Glade Austin. Detective Berry – an honest and courageous investigator – refused to dismiss the case as suicide. On Jan.1, 2001, Berry was “transferred” (demoted) to deputy, put back on road duty, and instructed to leave the case alone. In June, 2001, following months of harassment and trumped-up reprimands because he refused to go along with the cover-up, Berry quit the department. Berry says this was far from the first time the sheriff’s department arbitrarily closed a suspicious death as a suicide... I could get on with my life if Ronda had been killed in an accident. I could even have accepted suicide, if it truly was suicide. But having to deal every day with a police cover-up – reading and rereading the case file, finding investigative mistakes and reading the blatant lies that have been manufactured to conceal those blunders, keeps the wound of my loss open with no chance of healing. To live without closure is unbearable... [MORE]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder state politics alleged said suicide]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder alleged-suicide washington state patrol politics unsolved unresolved]

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